Is the Lava Dome at Mount St. Helens Really 1 Million Years Old?
IMAGE: Lloyd Anderson at Mount St. Helens . from inaccuracies in radiocarbon dating to gaps in the fossil record to superfine stratification of. The Lava Dome at Mount St Helens Debunks Dating Methods . How then can we accept radiometric-dating results on rocks of unknown age?. Learning the lessons of Mount St Helens How its eruption backs biblical history by Tas Mount St Helens reveals fatal radioactive-dating flaw.
If there wasn't yet enough argon in the rock to be detectable, and the equipment that was used was not sensitive enough to detect any argon, how was enough argon found that such old results were returned?
There are two possible reasons that the old dates were returned. The first has to do with the reason Geocron's equipment was considered useful only for high concentrations of argon. There would always be a certain amount of argon inside the mass spectrometer left over from previous experiments. If the sample being tested is old enough to have significant argon, this leftover contamination would be statistically insignificant; so this was OK for Geocron's normal purposes.
But for a sample with little or no argon, it would produce a falsely old result.
Mount St. Helens: a case against Evolution
This was undoubtedly a factor in Dr. The second possibility is that so-called "excess argon" could have become trapped in the Mount St. This is where we find the bulk of the confusing complexity in Austin's paper and in those of his critics. The papers all go into great detail describing the various ways that argon-containing compounds can be incorporated into magma.
These include the occlusion of xenoliths and xenocrysts, which are basically contaminants from existing old rocks that get mixed in with the magma; and phenocrysts, which are crystals of all sorts of different minerals that form inside the rock in different ways depending on how quickly the magma cools. Page after page of chemical compositions, mineral breakdowns, charts and graphs, and all sorts of discussion of practically every last molecule found in the Mount St. Summarizing both arguments, Dr.
Austin claims that xenoliths and xenocrysts were completely removed from the samples before testing, and that the wrong results are due to phenocrysts, which form to varying degrees in all magma, and thus effectively cast doubt on all potassium-argon testing done throughout the world. It's important to note that his arguments are cogent and are based on sound geology, and are often mischaracterized by skeptics. He did not simply use the wrong kind of radiometric dating as an ignorant blunder.
He was deliberately trying to illustrate that even a brand-new rock would show an ancient age, even when potassium-argon dating was properly used. Austin's critics charge that he ignored the probable likelihood that the limitations of Geochron's equipment accounts for the results, just as Geochron warned.
They also charge that he likely did not remove all the xenoliths and xenocrysts from his samples. However, neither possibility can be known for sure. Certainly there is no doubt that the test was far outside the useful parameters of potassium-argon dating, but whereas critics say this invalidates the results, Austin concludes that his results certify that the test is universally useless.
If we allow both sides to have their say, and do not bring a bias preconditioning us to accept whatever one side says and to look only for flaws in the other side, a fair conclusion to make is that both sides make valid points.
Austin does indeed identify a real potential weakness in potassium-argon dating. However he is wrong that his phenocrysts constitute a fatal flaw in potassium-argon dating previously unknown to geology. In fact, the implications of phenocrysts were already well understood.Radiohalos ruin radiometric dating (Creation Magazine LIVE! 7-15)
Yes they are one of the variables, and yes, in some samples they do push the error bars. However, the errors they introduce are in the range of a standard deviation, they are not nearly adequate to explain errors as gross as three or more orders of magnitude, which would be necessary to explain the discrepancy between the measured age of rocks and the Biblical age of the Earth.
Again, the mineral textures, as well as the laws of chemistry and physics, dictate that the calcium-rich plagioclase cores grew at higher temperatures before the sodium-rich rims and that glasses only formed once the melt erupted at the surface.
Mafic microphenocrysts within these glassy particles were probably dominated by the strongly magnetic Fe-Ti oxide minerals. The microscopic examination of the 'heavy-magnetic concentrate' also revealed a trace quantity of iron fragments, obviously the magnetic contaminant unavoidably introduced from the milling of the dacite in the iron mortar. No attempt was made to separate the hornblende from the Fe-Ti oxides, but further finer milling and use of heavy liquids should be considered.
Although the contamination might have seriously affected any iron analyses, K and Ar analyses may not have been affected. The description of another one of Austin's 'fractions' indicates that it is also highly impure: These mafic microphenocrysts and fragments of mafic phenocrysts evidently increased the density of the attached glass particles above the critical density of 2.
This sample also had recognizable hornblende, evidently not completely isolated by magnetic separation. Because it was composed of finer particles meshit contained far fewer mafic particles with attached glass fragments than DOME-IH.
This preparation is the purest mineral concentrate. Therefore, instead of dating the ages of the pyroxenes, he probably dated a mixture of mostly pyroxenes along with other minerals and volcanic glass. Again, a K-Ar date on such an impure 'fraction' would be meaningless and a waste of time and money.
That is, Austin is not dating the volcanic glass or the pyroxenes in the dacite, but artificial mixtures, which result from incomplete separations. Because Austin admits that his separations were impure, how can he, Swenson and other YECs justify their claims that these dacite samples were a fair test of the validity of the K-Ar method? Why did Austin waste precious time and money analyzing samples that were known to contain mineral and glass impurities?
As a geologist, Austin should have known that minerals, especially zoned minerals, take more time to crystallize than quenched disorder glass. How could he expect the relatively large and sometimes zoned minerals to be as young as the glass?!! The following additional comments by Swenson demonstrate that he does not understand the mineralogy and chemistry of the dacite: However, Dalrymple  found that even volcanic glass can give wrong ages and rationalized that it can be contaminated by argon from older rock material.
In any debate, the debaters should provide the references or Internet links for their opponents so that the readers can evaluate both sides and really understand what's going on.
Clearly, Swenson simply assumes that the volcanic glass contains 'excess argon. In his essay, Austin even admits that the glass still needs to be separated and analyzed for argon.
Furthermore, many studies for example, the Haulalai basalt; Funkhouser and Naughton, demonstrate that Swenson and other YECs cannot automatically assume that modern volcanic glass contains excess argon. Although hypothesis 1 is plausible, until the argon isotope concentrations of the PURE glass are accurately measured for Austin's dacite if this is even possible we cannot properly evaluate this hypothesis. Because Swenson does not provide a page number for his citation of Dalrymplethe identity of the volcanic glass with excess argon is uncertain.
Perhaps, Swenson was referring to the following statement from Dalrymplep. Because the centers of the flows cool more slowly, any excess 40Ar and other gases can disperse out of the remaining melt before solidification. While YECs explain geology by invoking talking snakes, magical fruit, and a mythical 'Flood', Dalrymple discusses legitimate chemistry and fluid physics, which is hardly relying on flimsy 'rationalizations' or implausible excuses.
Furthermore, contrary to Swenson's claims, nothing in Dalrymple excuses Austin's sloppy approach to K-Ar dating. In particular, YECs have no justification for automatically assuming that the dacite glass contains excess argon.
Even if the dacite glass does contain excess argon, Dalrymplep. Furthermore, if abundant excess argon is present in older rocks, Ar-Ar dating and K-Ar isochron dating can detect and eliminate its effects as examples, McDougall and Harrison,p.
Orthopyroxene retains the most argon, followed by hornblende, and finally, plagioclase. While Austin claims that orthopyroxenes should retain the most argon followed by hornblende an amphibole and finally plagioclase, he provides no references to support this claim. In reality, the crystalline structures of amphiboles, unlike feldspars and pyroxenes, contain open channels, which can hold argon gas and other fluids Klein and Hurlbut,p.
I'm skeptical that the defects and fractures in the orthopyroxenes and feldspars of Austin's dacites could hold more excess argon per mineral volume than the relatively large open structures within the hornblendes Dickin,p. Therefore, IF hypothesis 1 was the only factor influencing the dates of Austin's samples, I would expect the hornblende-rich 'fraction' to provide an older date than the pyroxene- and feldspar-rich 'fractions.
From the above discussions, we already know that hypothesis 2 is a likely explanation for Austin's old dates. To evaluate hypothesis 3, we should look at the crystallization order of the phenocrysts as suggested by Bowen's Reaction Series.
The series states that certain minerals will crystallize in a melt at higher temperatures than other minerals. That is, different minerals have different freezing points. Mafic magnesium and iron-rich volcanic rocks, such as basalts, form from relatively hot melts C and hotter, Hall,p. Felsic silica-rich rocks, such as granites, form at cooler temperatures perhaps as cool as CHall,p.
The most common minerals in rocks of intermediate chemistry, such as dacites, are located towards the middle of the series. Bowen's Reaction Series is a very important concept that undergraduate students learn in their introductory physical geology courses. To be exact, Bowen's Reaction Series was the one diagram that I was required to memorize when I took my first geology course in college. Although Bowen's Reaction Series was established long ago by field and laboratory studies, Swenson, Austin and other YECs repeatedly fail to comprehend its importance and how it can produce ancient phenocrysts, which may affect the radiometric dating of very young samples.
In a young volcanic rock, such as the Mt. Helen's dacite, the calcium-rich plagioclases may have formed thousands or even a few million years ago. Again, as a rock ages and 40Ar accumulates in both the glass and any 40K-bearing minerals, the differences in the ages of the materials becomes less significant.
That is, if the glass quenched in an eruptionyears after the formation of the calcium-rich plagioclases, after Bowen's Reaction Series also predicts that pyroxenes will crystallize at higher temperatures before amphiboles. Assuming that any argon contamination from Geochron's equipment hypothesis 2 is negligible, we see that the dates in Austin's table are consistent with the crystallization order in Bowen's Reaction Series.
As expected, the purest pyroxene fraction provides an older date 2. That is, IF the dates are real, the pyroxenes formed in the melt before the amphiboles as predicted by the series. Because the pyroxenes solidify before most other minerals, it's also not surprising that the 'pyroxene, etc. Depending upon the amount of zoned feldspars which consist of older calcium-rich cores and younger sodium-rich rims and the quantity of glass, amphibole and pyroxene impurities, the 'feldspar etc.
On the basis of the following statements by Swenson, his gross misinterpretations of Dalrympleand his unwillingness to respond to my earlier statements on Bowen's Reaction Series and its possible relevance to Austin's results, it is clear that Swenson does not know what Bowen's Reaction Series is and how it can affect the age distributions of minerals in very young volcanic rocks: They said that Dr Austin should have known they were old because the crystals were large and zoned.
However, Dr Austin's results Table 1 show that the wrong ages were not confined to one particular mineral. The idea that the age of a mineral can be anticipated by its size or colour is incorrect. Dalrymple , for example, found that the wrong ages in his samples were unrelated to crystal size, or any other observable characteristic of the crystal. As discussed earlier, zoning and crystal growth are extremely important in understanding phenocryst ages.
Based on the statements in his essays, Swenson simply assumes that excess argon is present in all of the components of the dacite and that any statements on the lack of a relationship between excess argon and crystal size in Dalrymple automatically apply to Austin's dacite.
The crown of the ash column rose to about 6, feet above the volcano. PDT, apparently in response to a magnitude 5.
Mount St. Helens: a case against Evolution – The TRUTH SOURCE
Helens suddenly began to collapse, triggering a rapid and tragic train of events that resulted in widespread devastation and the loss of 57 people, including volcanologist Johnston. Helens edifice in the late winter and early spring of By May 18, the cryptodome bulge on the north flank had likely reached the point of instability, and was creeping more rapidly toward failure. This abrupt pressure release allowed hot water in the system to flash to stream, which expanded explosively, initiating a hydrothermal blast directed laterally through the landslide scar… the pressure decreased… down the volcanic conduit to the subsurface magma reservoir, which then began to rise, form bubbles and erupt explosively, driving a 9-hour long Plinian enormous columns of tephra and gas eruption… Scientists estimate that the eruption reached its peak between 3: Over the course of the day, prevailing winds blew million tons of ash eastward across the United States and caused complete darkness in Spokane, Washington, miles from the volcano… ash fell visibly as far eastward as the Great Plains of the Central United States, more than miles away.
The ash cloud spread across the U. Helens erupted with a catastrophic Lateral blast explosion estimated to be the equivalent to about 24 megatons million tons of TNT note: A sonar scan of the bottom of the lake revealed about 19, upright trees on the bottom of the lake. Millions of logs in Spirit Lake; ship in circle above: According to most geologists, petrification rare fossilization process of turning organic material — most often wood — into stone must take place over hundreds of thousands or millions of years.
It forms when plant material is buried by sediment and protected from decay due to oxygen and organisms… Petrified Forest National Park… Arizona; about million years ago, this area was a lowland …rivers flooded by tropical rain storms washed mud and other sediments into the lowlands.
Enormous coniferous trees up to … feet tall lived and died in these lowlands.
Fallen trees… were often buried by the river sediments. Nearby volcanoes erupted numerous times… rapid burial allowed the plant debris to escape destruction by oxygen and insects.